So .... when you twine-knit the yarns get twisted, very twisted. And there is a very good reason that twined knitting is done from a single center pull ball, even though you need two yarns. I have even read that to knit twined in two colours wind the first colour onto a center pull ball knot on the second colour and wind it onto the same ball. There is a reason for that - it makes life easier if you do that. Today - I've got that video showing how to easily untwist the yarns when twined knitting, a new project report, a 99.99999% finished report on the Garter ribbed sweater for Bear, and some new stash.
First more Twined knitting info*. Last post I showed twined knitting and promised to show how to easily untwist the yarns. Because the two yarns are always being twisted the same way around each other to achieve the flat twined even appearance, they end up twisted, every stitch. So in a glove or mitten thats twisted around each other 50 or more times a round. For my sweater - thats 230 stitches, so 230 twists per round. To make untwisting easy - those clever knitting ancestors of ours decided to knit from the inside and the outside of a single ball of yarn. So if you secure the yarn around the ball, with two half hitch knots around a dpn (or the ball itself if you are very clever - I'm not), it is easy to pick the ball of yarn up and let it untwist all by its self .... see? Knitting Linguist pointed out the similarity between Twined knitting and the twisted braid edges used on Latvian mittens. In twined knitting usually only a single colour is used, and the emphasis seems to be on the textural effects achieved with twisting the two yarns, rather than colour work. There are a whole lot more effects possible than this simple example here - and I will explore them in time. Diantee asked if it was thicker than ribbing, its about the same, maybe slightly thinner, with less stretch, and not quite the same amount of pulling in perhaps.
And a close up shot of my pair of half hitch knots securing the yarn to the dpn.
I am making good progress on The Possum Merino sweater for Toby. This yarn has a high proportion of Possum, 50%, which makes it higher than many similar yarns I've seen available, they seem to range from 20-40% Possum fur. And its really Opossum, from the New Zealand wild opossum. An exotic animal imported from Australia and now out of control, spreading disease, wreaking native forests, and the habitat of native birds and lizards, and 'gifting' TB to a range of expensive farm animals like deer and cattle. It is not Possum fur from the US - apparently that would not be soft at all. I've finished the hem and well onto the body, easy knitting now I am on the stocking stitch sections. This is being knit on 3.75mm needles, to fit a tall lanky 8 yo boy.
And the garter ribbed sweater really is 99.9999999% finished. Chris ordered these rope knot clasps from Camilla Valley Farm. I've just got to sew them on (tonight), and its all done.
And last Thursday 3 of us 'knit nighters' drove down to the Milton Woolen Mill 'again' to see what they had. Best thing about a factory shop is the ever changing mass of stuff in stock depending on production. The other two knitters had not been before, which was fun to watch. P brought a shopping list of what she wanted to knit this year, and made off with a good haul of yarn averaging $2 a ball. M investigated the luxury end of the cones stock - with a view to the perfect luxury sock yarn. Me - well it was the 3rd trip in as many months so I was very selective - only two cones went in my bag. Both yarns bloom beautifully when washed and look like string on the cone.
The first a grey/green/blue with hints of pink, a 1kg (2 lb) cone for $NZ8.50. Enough for an entire sweater for an adult male, or two small children, or myself and a child. This was on the sale table - unlabeled, so a mystery purchase, but far to good to leave behind. At knit night the consensus was after washing a small test skein that is it super soft and the spinners in the room pronounced it 'from a down type breed of sheep'. I learn new things every day.
The second cone is a luxury blend of 40% Opposum, 50% Merino and 10% silk. This was half price and a very good buy. I love the colour and the hint of a sheen in the washed sample of this yarn. I know before nylon was added to sock yarn silk was recommended. We three knitters all wondered if 10% silk would make for a good sock yarn, and if silk was as good as nylon. If we are going to hand knit, we want them to last. If not - then it will make a beautifully soft scarf or shawl yarn.
I've still got the video of the chain surface twined knitting stitch to post - next time perhaps? And really need to do an update on the not merino lace socks which are still growing slowly.
* Edited Jan 2009 to clarify that this post about untwisting is about Twinned or Two ended or Tvåändsstickning knitting not about the more common method of stranded colour work. In this style of knitting the yarns are deliberately twisted together in the same direction producing a fabric that is stable, thick, durable and has a unique flat appearance. The tradition goes back hundreds of years and there is quite a following online.